Training and assessment
Providing training and assessment using a distance delivery mode can create an innovative and industry-current space for learners to develop their skills and knowledge, particularly as technologies change to become cheaper and more easily accessible.
RTOs must assure themselves that any methods used to deliver by distance obtain the same quality outcomes for learners that would otherwise be achieved.
An RTO must be confident that its delivery and assessment practices produce job-ready graduates that align to training package requirements.
Providing training using distance delivery
When delivering by distance, RTOs must consider the particular requirements of the mode of delivery to ensure learning resources, facilities and equipment are sufficient and accessible.
Resources should be engaging for the learner. Content should be delivered in a variety of ways to encourage learners to absorb the knowledge and to take time to be able to practice skills. Variety also supports the different learning styles of learners.
Content previously delivered in an all-day classroom environment will probably not transfer well to a recorded video presentation of the same duration. However, RTOs can structure the same learning to include activities, online discussions between learners, additional reading and research, and (recorded) real-time webinars that engage learners with their peers.
Structure is important in distance learning, given that students hold the responsibility to progress through the VET course. Students should be encouraged to complete learning tasks and other ‘check points’ to ensure they are developing competencies and able to take part in assessments. Completion of these tasks also allows the trainer and assessor to check for comprehension and provide additional support where required.
As with all resources, content needs to be accurate and up to date and must meet the training package requirements. Where RTOs use self-developed content, they should regularly check that the content is still industry-current. Any links to external resources should also be monitored.
There are a number of technologies that can be used to provide training. These vary in cost (both initial outlay and maintenance), user skill requirements, accessibility and the time required to develop the resource. Examples include:
In deciding what resource/s to use, RTOs should consider suitability for the VET course, the learner cohort and the RTO.
The most common complaints relating to assessment that ASQA receives from learners who are undertaking distance or online learning are:
- That online learning platforms are not adequate and do not allow for appropriate records to be retained. ASQA receives complaints that students have submitted assessments using the LMS, however the platform loses the record after being uploaded.
- Students are told they can simulate an assessment at home using family or friends to role play. The student (and the role play participants) are not provided with sufficient instructions to guide how the role play should be structured or would be assessed in a manner that meets training package requirements.